Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service: migratory bird hunting; Final 2022-2023 frameworks for the Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations
August 31, 2022
The Honorable Thomas R. Carper
The Honorable Shelley Moore Capito
Environment and Public Works Committee
United States Senate
The Honorable Raúl M. Grijalva
The Honorable Bruce Westerman
Natural Resources Committee
House of Representatives
Matter: Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service: migratory bird hunting; Final 2022-2023 frameworks for the Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations
Pursuant to Section 801(a)(2)(A) of Title 5 of the United States Code, this is our report on a major rule promulgated by the Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) titled “Migratory Bird Hunting; Final 2022–23 Frameworks for the regulation of the hunting of migratory birds” (RIN: 1018-BF07). We received the rule on August 16, 2022. It was published in the Federal Register as final rule on July 15, 2022. 87 Fed. Reg. 42598. The effective date is July 15, 2022.
According to the FWS, it establishes the 2022-2023 final frameworks from which states can select season dates, boundaries and other options for the 2022-2023 migratory game bird hunting season for certain considered migratory game birds. as game. The FWS said it prescribes, on an annual basis, outer boundaries (which it calls “frames”) within which states can select hunting seasons. According to the FWS, the frameworks specify outdoor dates, season lengths, shooting times, catch and possession limits, and areas where migratory bird hunting can take place. The FWS said these frameworks are necessary to allow for state selection of seasons and boundaries and to permit harvesting at levels consistent with the population status of migratory game birds and the conditions of the habitat. The FWS also said migratory game bird hunting seasons provide recreation and subsistence opportunities, and assist federal, state and tribal governments in the management of migratory game birds.
The Congressional Review Act (CRA) requires 60 days for the effective date of a major rule from the date of publication in the Federal Register or receipt of the rule by Congress, whichever is later. 5 USC § 801(a)(3)(A). However, the 60-day period from the effective date may be waived for any rule that establishes, modifies, opens, closes or enforces a regulatory program for a commercial, recreational or subsistence activity related to hunting, fishing or camping. 5 USC § 808(1). Pursuant to 5 USC § 808(1), FWS said it has not deferred the effective date of this final rule because the rule establishes rules for hunting.
Attached is our assessment of FWS’ compliance with the procedural steps required by Title 5 Section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) with respect to the rule. If you have any questions about this report or would like to contact GAO officials responsible for valuation work relating to the subject matter of the rule, please contact Shari Brewster, Assistant General Counsel, at (202) 512-6398.
Associate Legal Director
cc: Gregory W. Fleming
Fish and Wildlife Service
REPORT UNDER 5 USC § 801(a)(2)(A) ON A MAJOR RULE
ISSUED BY THE
MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR,
FISH AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
“HUNT FOR MIGRATORY BIRDS; FINAL 2022–23 FRAMES
FOR THE HUNTING REGULATIONS FOR MIGRATORY BIRDS »
(i) Cost-benefit analysis
The Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has prepared an economic analysis for the 2022-2023 migratory bird hunting season. FWS estimated the consumer surplus of three alternatives for duck hunting regulation. According to FWS, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-4 states that consumer surplus is the difference between what a consumer pays for a unit of a good or service and the amount maximum that the consumer would be willing to pay for this unit. The FWS noted that the duck hunting regulatory alternatives are (1) issuing restrictive regulations allowing fewer days than those issued in the 2021-2022 season, (2) issuing moderate regulations allowing more days than those in the Alternative 1, and (3) issue liberal regulations. similar to the regulations for the 2021-2022 season. The FWS said for the 2021-22 season it chose Alternative 3, with an estimated consumer surplus across all flyways of $270-358 million with a median estimate of $314 million.
(ii) Agency Actions Regarding the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 USC §§ 603–605, 607, and 609
According to FWS, this rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under RFA. FWS estimated that migratory bird hunters would spend about $2.2 billion on small businesses in 2022.
(iii) Agency Actions Regarding Sections 202-205 of the Unfunded Warrants Reform Act of 1995, 2 USC §§ 1532-1535
FWS has certified that this regulation will not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local or state government, or private entities. Accordingly, FWS stated that this rule is not a significant regulatory measure under the Act.
(iv) Other relevant information or requirements under laws and decrees
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 USC §§ 551 and following.
FWS said the process of promulgating annual regulations for the hunting of migratory game birds involves the publication of a series of proposed and final regulatory documents. As a result, on August 31, 2021, the FWS published a proposed rule titled “Hunting Migratory Birds; Draft Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations 2022-2023 (draft) with requests for proposals from Indian tribes; Notice of meetings. 86 Fed. Reg. 48649. In addition, the FWS Service Regulation Committee (SRC) held a public meeting with the Flyway Council on April 6, 2021 and September 28-29, 2021 to discuss preliminary matters regarding the proposed regulations for 2022-2023. See 86 Fed. Reg. 15957 (25 March 2021) (announcing the meeting of 6 April 2021). On February 2, 2022, the FWS published a proposed rule titled “Hunting Migratory Birds; Migratory Bird Hunting Regulatory Frameworks 2022-2023. » 87 Fed. Reg. 5946. FWS stated that it has reviewed all relevant comments received, including comments submitted in response to the proposed rules and at the September SRC meeting. The FWS also stated that this final rule establishes the final regulatory frameworks for regulating the hunting of migratory game birds for the 2022-2023 season and does not include any substantial changes from the
February 2, 2022, proposed rule except for a minor correction.
Red Tape Reduction Act (PRA), 44 USC §§ 3501–3520
According to FWS, this rule does not contain any new collection of information requiring OMB approval under the PRA. FWS stated that the OMB has previously approved information collection requirements associated with migratory bird surveys and procedures for establishing annual migratory bird hunting seasons under the following OMB control numbers: 1018-0019, “North American Woodcock Singing Ground Survey” (expires February 29, 2024); 1018-0023, “Migratory Bird Surveys, 50 CFR 20.20” (expires 30 April 2023); and 1018-0171, “Establishment of Annual Hunting Seasons for Migratory Birds, 50 CFR Part 20” (expires October 31, 2023).
Legal authorization of the rule
The FWS has promulgated this Final Rule pursuant to Chapter 128 of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, codified at Sections 703 through 711 of Title 16, United States Code.
Executive Order No. 12866 (Planning and Regulatory Review)
According to FWS, the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this final rule is economically significant under the order.
Executive Order No. 13132 (Federalism)
FWS stated that this final rule will not impose significant effects on federalism and will not have sufficient implications on federalism to warrant the preparation of a Summary Federalism Impact Statement.